First Time Buyer? Get Ready!

Sep 15
Category | Blog

Most kids get an annual check up. Many adults also have a physical every year or two. But how often have you done a check-up on your finances? If you are hoping to buy your first home sometime in the near future, a financial check-up is a good idea.  Getting your first mortgage means a lender is going to dig pretty deep into your financial situation. The process can be a lot smoother if you are prepared and know what to expect. Here are a few tips:

Be Honest (with yourself)

Know your credit score. If you have a Discover® Card, it’s on every monthly statement. If not request a free credit report from any of the three credit agencies. If your FICO score is below 600, you probably should focus on paying down some of your debt and repairing your credit history.

Know your assets. Your assets include your income and the value of any property you own including cars, artwork, jewelry, musical instruments, boats, bikes, other real estate, retirement/pension, etc.

Understand your debt. What you owe includes your monthly expenses, as well as the balance on any other loans you have, including car loans, student loans, credit card balances (all of them). It also includes any other legal obligation like spousal or child support and ...

The housing debacle that forced millions out of their homes in the last decade is something we’d all like to forget. But if we did in fact forget we’re likely to repeat that disastrous cycle once again. This famous quote is actually attributed to a few different people but it rings true today that, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” It didn’t matter where one lived, be it Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Pensacola, Florida, there were few areas that avoided the collapse.

A Brief Look

Homeownership rates hit a record high in 2004 and stayed above the 68% rate for the next four years. Looking back, it’s easy to see why so many bought homes—it was easy to qualify. Conventional loans underwritten to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards, while still easily making up the largest share of the market, soon found some formidable competition with so-called “alternative” loans, loans that didn’t require verification of certain important items such as income or assets. Subprime loans were prevalent as well, providing home loans to those with damaged credit.

As the market for homebuyers began to shrink and home sales began to decline, lenders began inventing new loan programs that combined alternative documentation with poor credit along with little or nothing down. Even Fannie and Freddie got into the act. FHA, too. And we all know the result. Millions of foreclosures as people lost their homes.


NJ Lenders was recently recognized by as the #3 Lender on the "New Jersey's Top Mortgage Banker and Brokers List 2015".  NJBiz Magazine is a leading source for news and information about New Jersey businesses and is published daily on the organizations website, as well as weekly in print.

Every year, following a careful review of the New Jersey Banking and Financial Services Industries, the magazine issues a list of the top performing companies.

You know us by our name. For our clients both past and present, we’re NJ Lenders Corp. and proud of our reputation in the industry. But despite our relationship with our treasured customers there are some who may not know the whole story beyond the name of our firm. Here are a few facts you might be surprised to know:


NJ Lenders Corp was founded in 1991 yet we’re known far beyond New Jersey borders. In fact, we provide conventional as well as government-backed loans in not just New Jersey but New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Florida. That’s quite a footprint and we approve Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, USDA and a host of other programs.


Serving the communities in these seven states are over 80 experienced, licensed residential mortgage loan officers and more than 180 employees. Although we do offer more loan options than most other mortgage companies can provide, that doesn’t mean we send loan applications to other lenders for approval. We’re the lender and we fund loans every single day.

Once you meet with your loan officer, your loan application is then delivered to your loan processor who will prepare your loan file for approval. Once all documentation has been collected your loan goes directly to one of our staff of underwriters. After the file has been approved your closing papers are drawn and delivered to the settlement agent. Everything is ...

This could just as easily be called, “Top Tips for a Loan Approval” or “Don’t Make These Mistakes” but however you word it, there are some things that you absolutely must avoid when applying for a mortgage or while your loan is in the process of getting an approval. For a smooth closing and a stress-free process, here are some things you want to pay attention to.

Credit Inquiries

When you apply for credit, even if you change your mind and don’t complete the purchase, your credit report will note that some merchant or service provider looked at your credit report at your direction when applying for a loan. Say that you wanted to buy a new car and applied for financing at your bank but decided not to buy the new car after all. Even though you didn’t add to your debt you did create a question mark at the mortgage company.

The lender will see that you applied for credit but because it doesn’t show that you decided not to take the loan after all, the lender doesn’t have verification of that. Credit balances and monthly payments are reported to the credit bureaus every 30 days so the lender can’t verify whether or not you have a new monthly payment.

Okay, let’s now say you did buy that car and you can show your monthly payment to your lender, how does that affect your debt ratios? Buying anything on credit while your loan is being approved can mean you suddenly can’t qualify due to your new debt load. In ...

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